If you’ve been dreaming of transforming your home into one that looks like it belongs in this decade but aren’t willing to use up your vacation days getting there, fear not! There are a multitude of big changes you can make to your home in just a couple days so you can save your precious summer holidays for relaxing on a beach somewhere — or taking a trip to visit your in-laws. Here are 10 such jobs you can DIY on weekends.
1. Replace carpet with luxury vinyl plank (LVP)
Wall-to-wall carpeting may have been the pride and joy of homeowners in previous decades, but modern tastes tend toward hard surfaces. While installing hardwood floors takes time, specialized tools and often professional labor, ripping out your carpet and installing luxury vinyl plank (LVP) flooring can be done in a single weekend. Consisting of vinyl designed in planks to resemble traditional wood, LVP is engineered to be extremely easy to install. It can be cut with just a box-cutter, it clicks together with minimal force and it requires no adhesives or nails to stay put. Many home improvement retail sites, such as Floor & Decor offer visualizers — imaging software that gives you a sense of what a particular LVP plank floor would look like in an actual room in your home.
2. Stain your fence
While re-staining your fence may sound very mundane, it can really brighten up the borders of your property. And it’s not a complicated task. With the right tools you can easily wash your fence on Friday after work and install two coats over a few hours on Saturday and Sunday. Pro tip: Rent a power washer and paint sprayer from your local hardware store to make the job go even faster.
3. Refresh the front and garage doors
Your front door is often the focal point of your house’s exterior, the first and last thing a visitor sees. Refreshing it by buffing out any scuffs, fixing any dents or adding a bright modern pop of color can instantly increase your curb appeal significantly with only a few hours of work. The same goes for your garage door(s), especially if they are visible from the street or dominate your home’s exterior (as in snout houses). The garage has been called the nose of your house, and you do want to keep your nose clean, don’t you?
4. Switch out the lights
Fashions in light fixtures change, and if your rooms still boast crystal chandeliers from the ‘80s, you can save yourself years of dusting and get them out in a single weekend. Changing light fixtures is one of the few electrical jobs that’s safe for DIYers to do: Anticipate each install taking less than two hours. If you don’t need the illumination, you can increase air circulation in your home by replacing the lights with ceiling fans, which take a similar amount of time to install.
5. Install a gazebo
A gazebo can add valuable shade in a world that is rapidly getting hotter, providing a pleasant space to entertain friends or enjoy the yard on your own. While they can be quite intricate-looking architectural structures, gazebos actually can be assembled from kits (especially the basic, four-beamed, standard-roof kind); depending on their size, many can be installed in under an hour with very few parts and one or two tools that are usually included in the kit. If you can follow the instructions to assemble an Ikea dresser, you’ll find most gazebo assembly instructions a breeze, with many fewer slot As to insert into slot Bs.
6. Renew cabinet hardware
Repainting cabinets can be a daunting task but replacing hardware on your cabinets and drawers can provide a significant facelift relative to the minimal effort and cost involved. Install the same hardware on cabinets throughout your home — kitchen, bathroom, mudroom, laundry room — to provide cohesion and a recurring visual theme throughout your home. Pro tip: a plastic mounting template, with clearly marked common hole placement to help you line up your hardware, can give your work a crisp, clean look.
7. Improve the landscaping
Curb appeal matters even if you’re not planning on selling your home soon. You can easily add some mulch, pavers and container plants over a single weekend to liven up the entrance of your house. Play around with a landscape design program to see what plants will complement your home’s existing color scheme and architectural style best.
8. Install new baseboards and crown molding
Trim work may be the most tedious part of home remodeling but it luckily doesn’t take long to accomplish: There are many ready-made pieces in intricate patterns that mimic the old plaster-cast molds of yore. You can easily measure, cut, and install new baseboards and crown molding in a single weekend — especially if you use ones made of lightweight composite materials. Go for a taller baseboard for a more modern look and a multi-faceted crown molding option within your foyer to really wow visitors.
9. Clean and seal your driveway
Keeping your driveway clean and in good shape is a necessary part of home maintenance that, unfortunately, too many homeowners overlook. While installing a driveway is a pro’s job, power-washing and resealing it can be done DIY (every one to three years for concrete, three to five years for asphalt). Resealing your driveway only takes a few hours and can help keep it looking fresh for decades. If you’ve a concrete driveway, and are looking to shake things up a bit, you can also stain your concrete for a more elegant or rustic look over the weekend. Bear in mind that, depending on the type of concrete you have and how humid your local climate is, it may take a couple of days for it to fully dry.
10. Repaint a room
You can easily repaint a room (or several) over the course of the weekend: Self-priming paints, which seal the wall as they apply the color, are big time-savers. If you’re planning on selling your home within the near future, use a nice neutral color. If you’re not planning on selling your home, go for the color of your dreams. A bold paint choice can be a conversation starter and source of joy for years to come.
The bottom line
Whether you’re remodeling your home to get the most out of selling it or simply for your own enjoyment, you can DIY more projects than you think over the course of a single weekend. Do your research and order your materials and supplies during the week so as soon as Friday night comes you can get started on your projects.